When you self-publish a novel — one that’s polished and edited and strong and legit in all ways except no agent picked it up to pitch to some big publisher — you face many challenges, but the biggest is that the majority of self-published books are not polished, edited, strong or legit. There’s a stigma (somewhat deserved, in my opinion) that if the book were any good, a “real” publisher would have printed it.
But in real life publishers are publishing fewer books; indie publishing is growing in legitimacy and the industry is changing.
One response to indie publishing has been the emergence of reviewers who evaluate indie books and validate their quality for the public. My novel, Martin of Gfenn, has received two of these “merit badges.” One, the Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society Review and, today, I learned my book has been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion from IndieB.R.A.G.
OK, they’re not the Pulitzer or the Man Booker Prize, but I’m really happy about this. I’m going to have to rework the cover to include both of these badges!